Juddmonte Farm’s Arrogate blew away the competition against all odds after a nightmarish start in Saturday’s Dubai World Cup, and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said that the colt will get a well-deserved vacation before his next race. Despite the 4-year-old son of Unbridled Song’s four consecutive jaw-dropping performances, Baffert told drf.com that the champion “wasn’t really tired after the race” on Sunday.
Immediate plans call for Arrogate to be shipped back to the United States on Wednesday, after which the team will begin to plan out a campaign that would culminate in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Tiznow is the only horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic in back-to-back years, but Arrogate appears a large threat to join him on that pedestal.
If Baffert continues to follow the same pattern with the talented gray colt, in which he gives Arrogate a long time between races, it seems likely that an August return would be the most likely path. The $ 1 million Pacific Classic, scheduled for Aug. 19 at Del Mar, would fall 11 weeks before the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup, and would give Arrogate the advantage of a race over the surface on which the Breeders’ Cup will be held. For reference, Arrogate’s record-setting Travers Stakes victory last year was exactly 10 weeks before his Breeders’ Cup Classic win over California Chrome.
It remains to be seen whether Arrogate’s connections would consider racing him again in January’s Pegasus World Cup, taking a page from the book of Taylor Made with California Chrome, which would still allow the colt to stand stud in the 2018 season.
Meanwhile, runner-up Gun Runner will also be on Wednesday’s flight, scheduled to return to Churchill Downs with the rest of trainer Steve Asmussen’s top horses. Third-place finisher Neolithic exited the Dubai World Cup well and will head to Kentucky for a break, as announced by Starlight Racing via Twitter on Sunday afternoon.
Mind Your Biscuits, emphatic winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, may be pointed to the Met Mile in New York, drf.com reports.
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